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Don't use coupons? Think you can't save money using... I wrote this in response (as a comment) to a comment quoted in a post on the Five Cent Nickle blog. ========================================================= Coupons are the single best way to...

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Working with credit card companies - the good, bad... A few months ago we knew we were headed into "negative" territory on our bills.  A perfect storm of events were happening and we could see what was going to happen. In our efforts to work with our...

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I paid 25c for all of this food.... 4 boxes of crackers 4 packages of cookies 2 boxes of cinnabon bars 1 hotwheel Had to throw the hotwheel in just cause I had a $1 left to "spend" from my freebie stuff!  How did I do it??? Albertson's...

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Allowances, complications, compensating for chores...... It was with surprise and well, a bit of disgust that I was recently reading a plethora of comments on a financial forum I participate in about this very subject. Let's see if I can reiterate without...

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Don't waste your energy on credit, you never need it... I love love love Trent at the Simple Dollar.  He has written for a while and has excellent advice, gives wonderful access to financial related resources and well, he's just an all around great guy (have...

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Don’t use coupons? Think you can’t save money using coupons? I challenge you !!!

Posted on : 18-11-2009 | By : The Wife | In : budgeting, Groceries, Stockpile

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I wrote this in response (as a comment) to a comment quoted in a post on the Five Cent Nickle blog.

=========================================================

Coupons are the single best way to reduce your grocery bill to nearly zero – on a consistent basis.

I feed and beautify a family of 6 (4 boys) for less than $400/month. Additionally, the last 2 months we’ve been supporting 2 other families (3 ppl and 4ppl) without depleting our stockpile or increasing our expenses. Additionally, we’ve given bags upon bags of food and toiletries to our food bank (this is very much needed right now).

I spend an average of 10 hours a month couponing, matching sales, planning the shopping and actually shopping multiple stores.

We have our own business in which I work full-time, so it’s not like I’m a SAHM that works this into my SAHM schedule.

Saving money has NOTHING to do with buying “generic” vs. “store brands”. It has everything to do with being flexible in the brands you do use, keeping coupons for everything, including things you’ve never used before and matching the use of store coupons/manufacturer coupons/sales/catalina’s to make the most effective use of your money.

You must be willing to try new products – to integrate things you’ve never eaten before – to make use of what is inexpensive.

I love challenging people who say they “save as much or more using generic” or people who say that coupons never come on the products they use (I guess they don’t take showers or baths, brush their teeth, wash their clothes, clean their homes, eat breakfasts, lunches or dinners, etc). In October alone we saved $100 off our previously “normal” budget of $675/month for our family of 6. However, the amount of food I bought for $525 was more than triple what most get for $525.

Stockpiling is KEY – buying enough of an item when it’s at it’s lowest price to stock up until it goes to it’s lowest price again (on MOST items it’s a 3 month cycle). Also watching for unexpected low low prices (ie, anything pork related was at an insane price the past couple of months because of the “swine flu” scare so I stocked up on ~100lbs of pork roast for 89c/lb) and, watching for seasonal items at their lowest – soups are always at their lowest in Sept/Oct/Nov, etc.

Anyway – I love that most people just are ignorant about coupons – it allows me to feed lots of people for very little money.

I also no longer care what people waiting in line think about how long it takes me at the checkout counter. They don’t live in my house and they don’t have to feed my family – I do. If going through checkout takes an extra 5 minutes (which it always does because of the amount of coupons I use) and saves me $500+/month – I’m doing it. I refuse to spend more money just to appease someone else.

I do love it when the person behind me sees just how much I save. When the total starts out at $150 and I end up paying $20, they notice. When the total starts out at $53 and I pay ZERO and I do TWO transactions back to back like this, they really notice. (these are real life recent examples).

Anyway – Mr. Stein – keep up the “get rid of coupons” mantra – I’ll keep using them :D

$500/month is nothing to sniff at – $6,000/year – that’s a great vacation every . single . year.

The pressure to spend . . .

Posted on : 21-10-2009 | By : The Wife | In : budgeting, Money, The Journey

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Here is an element of what I was talking about in my last post – Jason over at Bible Money Matters said it much better than I did.

Avoid the Pressure to Spend.

It’s the little things that catch you by surprise . . .

Posted on : 21-10-2009 | By : The Wife | In : budgeting, Money, The Journey

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and ultimately become sacrifices . . .

I very much would love to be a “chauffeur” for my son – he’s going on a field trip with his class next week and they are looking for volunteer drivers.

Cool!  I’m in.

Only to learn that it will cost $3 admission to the event I would be driving to.

Hum.  We have decided to budget so tight that $3 is nothing to sneeze at and frankly, I’d much rather throw it towards debt and be FREE than to spend it just so I can drive (and pay for gas too).

It’s things like this that come up and nickle – and – dime you to death.

Don’t let that happen.

Don’t let others make you feel guilty for not doing something like the above when the ultimate reason you are doing it is so much better for you and your family then to drive a few classmates on a field trip.

As the “nerd” in our marriage . . .

Posted on : 06-10-2009 | By : The Wife | In : budgeting, dave ramsey, Debt Discussion, The Journey

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I was trying to be too strict, too rigid in our budget.  I desperately want the debt GONE.  However, I’ve been told that I also have to LIVE while we are eliminating it!

Therefore, we now have a “blow” category in our budget.  Mind you, it’s $20 total (basically a movie or a take n’bake pizza… however, it’s still a blow category.

Love you DH!